LoKal Burgers and Beer is a restaurant that opened in Coconut Grove on 2011. This restaurant brings a concept to the neighborhood that is appealing to all ages and people of different interests. By this I mean that people interested in food will find very surprising dishes on the menu while people interested in beer will find what is probably the best beer selection in all of South Florida. Matthew Kuscher, the owner, originally opened up his business under the concept that he would provide the South Florida area with very sustainable food at a price that would be affordable to anyone. His mentality is that a person should not have to pay premium prices for premium food and quality. Although the word “burgers” is in the name, the concept is to provide all types of sustainable food that is as local as possible to customers, which should link them to the community and bring a sense of pride and joy to Miami. In this aspect, Matthew is succeeding since all his vegetables come from farms in Homestead, all his beef and proteins comes from Florida farms and businesses, and his bread is made in South Floridian bakeries. The fact that he is helping other local businesses and that they are helping him is something that builds a sense of community between the food industries in the city. Matthew also makes sure that everything in his business is recycled and tries his hardest to be as sustainable as possible with it comes to decorating and building his business. On top of that, the whole restaurant runs on sustainable energy. The concept that Matthew is employing at his business is something that other restaurants in the city should try to mirror, since it would steer the Miami area in the right direction when it comes to dealing with what we eat.
Every item that I have tried at LoKal has been very well prepared and absolutely delicious. Throughout multiple visits I’ve gotten to try some of their more popular offerings, such as the Frita by Kush. This burger is very well thought out, as it takes inspiration from a pastry that is very dear to the people of Miami. The flavors of a guava and cheese pastelito are mimicked in this burger by topping a patty with guava paste, Gruyere cheese, bacon, and potato sticks between a challah bun. The salty and smoky bacon accentuates the savory profile of the beef. The potato sticks add crunch and texture to the whole package while the guava paste is there to provide sweetness that immediately reminds a person of the Cuban treat. The cheese holds everything together and the richness coming from it is perfect, as it does not overpower any of the other toppings. This burger is my personal favorite at this restaurant and one I highly recommend.
On the menu, you’ll also find something for people feeling more indulgent. The My Childhood Dream burger is Matthew’s take on the Luther Burger (patty between donuts instead of buns). This burger is as sinfully delicious as it sounds, and you are even given the option of adding a fried egg to the combination, because why not. Although I wouldn’t get this selection everyday, I have tried it before and recommend it to the person looking for a fun and different experience.
If I didn’t talk about the sides and sauces at this restaurant, I’d be doing you a great disservice. All the sauces (ranging from honey mustard, to ketchup, to bbq sauce) are made in house using local ingredients and are some of the best in the city. The sides are expertly prepared as well. I usually go for a combination of regular French fries and sweet potato fries. Just tell your server you want 50/50 fries when they ask you for your side. If you’re not in the fry mood, I highly recommend the cole slaw, as it is very refreshing, crunchy, and very satisfying.
Overall, this is a restaurant that should on everyone’s radar. The fun atmosphere, along with the concept of bringing sustainable food to the city should be enough to draw all types of people in. The fact that the beer selection is so great is only a benefit, since you will find some beers here that you won’t find anywhere else. I am a fan and I know that if you come, you will become one too.
LoKal Burgers & Beer
3190 Commodore Plaza
Miami, FL 33133
By Food blogger, Santiago Cardona